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3.3 out of 5 stars
Lasting Damage (Culver Valley Crime)
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
on 2 October 2011
I have enjoyed most of Sophie Hannah's books before now but really can't see what there is to like about this book. Having read the blurb and various ace reviews, I was beginning to think it was me losing the plot until I read some of the other reviews on here. Like other reviewers, I found the whole thing boring. The basic idea grabbed me and I thought it was an unusual and intriguing plot to start with, but the endless tedious conversations between various characters turned it into a dull book. Not only was the plot hard to keep hold of at various times, but the characters were annoying too. The interplay between Simon and Charlie is unlikely and tedious, and the relationship between Olivia and Gibbs is pointless. The most annoying feature of all, for me though, was the repetitive self-analysing and 'stream of consciousness' type rambling of the characters (especially Connie and Charlie) and voicing of their thoughts on everything. This meant a simple conversation or explanation would drag on for pages while the character analysed their understanding of what they'd just heard/said/seen. And the plot about the houses and no. 11/12 and 17/18 became ridiculous and confusing. By the last chapters of the book, I realised I didn't care what the outcome was as I didn't care about any of the characters. I just wanted it finished.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 2 March 2012
I really wanted to like this book and stayed with it in the hope that it was a slow burner. Sadly, the characters were totally unbelievable (particularly the police officers)and in the case of the central character Connie, it was worse than just unbelievable - it was deeply irritating. From the outset it was obvious that she was in some sort of mortal danger but rather than add a sense of tension to the proceedings - the reader is left wishing that whoever has her worst interests at heart, would just get it over with. The central story revolves around the main protagonist having 'witnessed' on an estate agents website what seems to have been a murder after seeing a dead body lying in a room of a house for sale. What follows is an over long search for the truth and although the final denouement rescues the story a pinch; it doesn't disguise the fact that this book is full of some truly clunky and ultimately pointless dialogue - particularly the conversations in household of Connie's immediate family. Very disappointing.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon 7 May 2011
I read Sophie Hannah's earliest 2 books but then gave up with her, although I quite enjoyed Little Face I found her second book appalling and in all I was frustrated by the alternating chapters about the police.
However the premise of this latest book really intrigued me so I gave it a try. A woman, Connie, is looking at a virtual tour of a house on an estate agent's website and sees a woman lying in a pool of blood. When she tries to show her husband it is just a pristine room with no trace of the horrors she's just seen.
Again, this book follows the same format, chapters alternate between the lead character and the detectives. Whilst the chapters about Connie were gripping, the chapters about the police were like a rude interruption, particularly in the earlier half. Some of them had no bearing on the story at all, such as Charlie and Simon's dismal honeymoon (what a dreadful pair of characters these two are!),and the relationship between Charlie's sister and another police officer, these threads were tedious and reminded me why I stopped reading this author's books.
From a reader's point of view I would say to Sophie Hannah that she certainly knows how to create some intriguing plots and characters but she should really ditch those awful detectives.
BUT, the actual main plot running through the book is quite interesting and really kept me turning the pages, although the truths at the end were somewhat unlikely, but then it is fiction and would be pretty boring if everything was completely true to life.
Well worth a read in spite of my criticisms, and gets better as it goes along.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 25 September 2013
I have never before read such an utter pile of rubbish. The plot is so absolutely ridiculous that I cannot believe it got published, never mind some actual good reviews.
As most other people state, the initial idea is quite good and intriguing - who is the woman in the pool of blood? Why is the image not there when Connie's husband views the video? But the author clearly had no idea how to progress the story beyond this initial concept and went so far in the the unbelievable that it ended up as complete tripe.
**SPOILER ALERT**
I am still at a loss as to why this was put up on the website at 1am when Connie couldn't sleep? How on earth could Jackie know that she would be awake at this time, are we to believe that Kit texted her to put it up on the website when he couldn't have any secure idea of when Connie would go downstairs, and Jackie was to be waiting on the other end of the phone to upload a video and take it down again a few minutes later?!! The back and forth between 17/18 Pardner Lane and 11/12 Bentley Grove was nonsensical.
Never again will I pick up a book by this author as it was a complete waste of my time and patience.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on 10 August 2011
After all the hype this book received I was all ready to settle down for a darn good read. Initial plot line very different and exciting and I genuinely thought it would go somewhere. However, it dragged and dragged with silly sub-plots, characters irritated me and towards the end I didn't really care what happened as I couldn't help thinking it was going to be a stupid ending anyway - which it was. Very disappointed.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on 21 March 2011
I strongly disagree with the reviewer who suggested this was a good book to begin reading Ms Hannah's work. If this had been my first book by the author I may not have continued reading due to the frequent references to her other work. I quite like background material on the main characters but this lot are certainly very complicated in comparison to Wexford, Lynley, or Dalglish.The plot was not really beleivable and the dialogue in places was cringe making.
I would still recommend the authors earlier books , the first three were very enjoyable. However I would caution some-one new to this author not to begin with this book.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on 19 July 2011
I'm loath to give this book 1 star. I enjoyed The Point of Rescue and cannot understand how this one slipped through the net. The concept is great - but that is all there is. There are feeble ways of trying to get the book to hang together and the dialogue is repetitive, the themes and content are repetitive - it's as though the author is trying to bang home an idea that just doesn't work - and is so desperately DULL. The settings are dreary and unimaginative, there is no pace, the characters are flat and indistinguishable, the extra 'plot' lines are superfluous and the central character engenders little sympathy. Enough said!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 30 August 2012
this is the first Sophie Hannah book i have read and one that had been recommended to me. I didnt particularly feel that gripped by it or even that i really wanted to finish it...there were too many characters in that too be honest served no purpose, but just distracted you from the story. I however did finish it and still felt a little flat although i think the two main characters were well written and interesting as was their relationship with each other..if you love Sophie Hannah you may still enjoy this book, but for those that have not read her before i wouldn't rush out to make this your first !
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 19 December 2012
As a fan of Hannah's books I was really looking forward to reading this and it did not disappoint too much. Lasting Damage has a very promising plot that is full of intrigue and suspense. It starts with Connie seeing a dead body on a estate agents website and then it disappears what follows from this is Connie trying not to lose her mind and her life and convince the people around her and the police that she did see what she claimed to see. The characters are all very interesting, all flawed, which makes them feel more real and believable. I did think that some elements of the plot were obvious but certainly not all of the plot was. The reason why Lasting Damage only got 3 stars from me was that I felt certai bits of suspense were dragged out for too long and not enough information was given away to keep me interested and I felt that this only improved in the last 100 pages of the book. I also felt that not everything was fully explained well at the end and there are still some aspects that are left up in the air. Saying that I did enjoy this read and will definitely be looking forward to the next book by Hannah.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on 25 May 2011
Loved all the previous books and was really looking forward to the new one but this was terrible. The story is too farfetched and the main character is very annoying. Too many parts of the story are repeated in different characters conversations. I couldn't wait to finish it for all the wrong reasons. Read her other books and give this a miss.
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